A friend of mine told me recently that she’s on a media fast. What does that mean? She’s not ingesting any news. She is not reading newspapers, magazines, listening to the radio or watching TV. Wait a minute! No more yummy TV? There’s the tasty election, all that mouth-watering political commentary, then there will be the delicious swearing-in ceremony–juicy stuff!
I’ve always suspected that TV viewing can be addictive. Most of it is redundant, myopic and just plain overloaded with stimulating nonsense, but it has its informative and entertaining moments. While it might work for some families to totally ban the tube, I’ve taken the moderate approach to TV-watching with my family. That said, I’ve got a list of pet peeves about TVs.
How can we find a harmonious balance between the TV and an eco-minded lifestyle? It’s a delicate balance reconciling your eco-conscience with where and how to view your TV. Not So Big House author and architect Susan Susanka promotes putting the TV in an alcove, which offers an “alternative space within a larger space.”
Feng Shui experts say that electronic equipment has negative effects on Chi. Chi is the energy that connects people with their environment. The Practical Feng Shui suggests, “Position the TV away from the seating, and ensure that people can sit in favorable directions in the room.”
The newer LCD flat-screen TVs, with their thinner profiles and easy wall mounting make interior design placement easier. These TVs can recede and blend into the decor of a room. Green Supply Line notes that LCD flat-screen TVs have a green component of lowering power consumption by 30-40 percent. I’ll add that they sure look nice, but trashing your old perfectly good, but not so cute, TV for a newer model isn’t going to reconcile your eco-conscience.
For the sake of this article, let’s just say your TV is dead. You’ve disposed of it responsibly, and you have the perfect “out of sight, out of mind” place for the new one in your home. Rather than go out and buy a new armoire to house and hide your new TV, check out this eco-friendly DIY entertainment center. It’s from HGTV, of all places! If you are left with an eco-mess of packaging consider Habitat’s solution, making a TV stand out of all that packaging.
Some TV pet peeves:
Mealtimes: The research has shown that consuming a meal at home in front of the TV causes a higher consumption of calories. Who needs that? Plus, sitting down to a meal together fosters family communication.
TV size: Some TVs are massive in relation to the size of a room. Giving TV the prominence of being one of the first things you see when you enter a room lets your TV dominate the space. It’s a hefty design statement you might want to reconsider.
Living rooms: A TV in the main living space takes something away from all those wonderful things you could be doing: Reading, playing a game, listening and playing music, making art and crafts, and playing and conversing with your kids and pets. Living rooms are for living and engaging in quality time with your family and yourself. Designated spaces, like a family room or den is a better location for the TV.
Kids’ rooms: There are some strong associations between TV in children’s bedrooms and numerous health and educational problems highlighted in a New York Times article from earlier this year. “Children with bedroom TVs score lower on school tests and are more likely to have sleep problems. Having a television in the bedroom is strongly associated with being overweight and a higher risk for smoking. One of the most obvious consequences is that the child will simply end up watching far more television–and many parents won’t even know.” Read more : here. TVs also add to bedroom noise.
Back to my serial media-fasting friend, I applaud her for having the resolve to know what is right for her. If you are not ready to go on that particular diet, how do you keep yourself and your family from being TV junkies?